Mites in canary plumage: everything you need to know

The real danger for these birds can be mites in the canary plumage. Find out how they affect them so you can prevent them with caution.

The canary is the most common domestic bird in the world and is raised as a pet along with the parrot. And its characteristics are ideal for adapting to the lifestyle of many people. Therefore, you must know them very well and be very informed, because, like all animals, exposed to external parasites like ticks, of which there are about twenty species.

What are feather mites?

Acaryosis occurs as a result of infection by mites, a type of parasite from the family of arachnid arthropods that live in dirty and dusty environments. Sometimes, These parasites are visible in certain parts of the body. our canary, while calling it an exogenous infection, that is, one that causes external manifestations.

However, in other cases, mites go completely undetected for some time, depending on the cycle of some species; which will lead to a worse outcome for the pet after all, it can even affect the respiratory tract, in addition to the fact that they are large bloodsuckers. Therefore, the most important thing is to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if you notice any strange symptoms in your bird.

If you notice any strange symptoms in your canary, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.If you notice any strange symptoms in your canary, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

most common symptoms When these parasites appear: itching, thin, whitish scabs, loss of feathers, sticky fluid from the feathers, hardening of the skin on the fingers, a state of nervousness and deformation of the legs. For these symptoms, baths with boric water, specific insecticides for oritology, lindane and local treatments with anti-scabies ointments are usually used as a remedy.

Depending on the type of bird in question, certain types of mites are more likely to appear. although all birds can become infected with plumage acariasis when parasites invade the subcutaneous area of ​​your skin. Below you will learn about the types of ticks that can cause more or less harm to your pet:

Dermanyssus spp (red mite)

They are called red ticks because of their color. This type of tick It is more common in young birds and those that live in groups. as happens in chicken coops, flyers or incubators, and also in domestic birds that we usually keep at home, such as parrots. Despite this, this mite is capable of parasitizing any birds, especially at night, leaving its hiding places in corners or crevices to feed on prey, and thus ensuring that during the day we will not be able to notice anything strange in our pet.

Since we will rarely be able to see a tick on light-colored surfaces, We should be alarmed when we notice that birds are in a state of nervousness.if their plumage becomes dull or they appear weak and have little strength due to blood loss, this is the last sign if our parrots are severely affected.

This type of tick is capable of attacking any species of birds, especially at night.This type of tick is capable of attacking any species of birds, especially at night.

The life cycle of the red mite in canaries under good conditions can take about seven days, that is, very quickly. Because of this, You need to know exactly what products to spray on your pet. as well as in the environment, since a new cycle cannot be allowed to begin.

That’s why, Using sprays will be a good way to help your pet recover. and than to spray it over a certain period of time, always depending on the residual activity they have. This spray can also be used by pouring it into the environment, although it may also be useful in systemic avermectin therapy.

The most important thing is that we always seek help from an expert, such as a veterinarian, although he or she will most likely prescribe the drug for you. fipronil spray or piperonil for birds because they usually give good results. Of course, we must keep in mind that birds are probably the most sensitive animals in existence when it comes to the domestic world, when it comes to the use of sprays, the use of smoke, aerosols… Therefore, we will always have to have the help of a specialist to find out the frequency applications, quantities and methods of proper environmental disinfection.

Birds are very sensitive in their home world.Birds are very sensitive in their home world.

Cnemidocoptes species

This mite is considered the cause of cnemidocoptic scabies and goes through its entire life cycle, that is, from the larva, nymph stage to adult. Here, It feeds on epithelial keratin contained in the epidermal follicles of which it nests. A canary becomes infected by direct contact by stepping on infected scales that another canary leaves on the cage bars.

This is a species of viviparous ticks; females do not lay eggs and They hatch their larvae in passages that they themselves create, penetrating the skin barrier.. Its cycle varies from 21 to 27 days. The only good thing is that the tick dies immediately, since it is not able to survive for a long time outside the host.

Cnemidocoptes spp will cause your canary to form scabs on the affected areas because when the mite settles on the canary, it will become active and release metabolites into the follicle leads to chronic irritation and the formation of hard exudate. which ends in hyperkeratosis in the bird. That is, it is an abnormal growth of skin that can be observed on the beak, legs, face and, sometimes, eyelids.

Look at a canary's plumage to see if it is sick.Look at a canary’s plumage to see if it is sick.

These scabs appear at the beginning of the tick’s stay on the canary, but, on the contrary, if the process is in a more advanced stage, they can be observed. skin growths in the form of elongated white masses surrounding the animal’s fingers.. If you see this, don’t hesitate to report it to your veterinarian immediately because canaries can sometimes live with this for months without showing symptoms of itching or anything like that.

To decide on treatment, first The veterinarian will take a sample from the affected areas., but the presence of these mites in canaries will not always be obvious, so it is necessary to conduct a total and complete examination of the bird. Once diagnosed, the canary will be given doses of systemic avermectins (ivermectin, moxidectin…), depending on its age, weight and other conditions. After two to three weeks, the same process will repeat, which is the approximate time it takes for the tick to complete its cycle.

Unlike treatment against red mites, spraying and spraying in this case will not give much effect, since this is an arable mite, that is, it is too deep. What you really need to do is disinfect the cages and all utensils that the infected bird has come into contact with, in addition to complete hygiene. Try to feed your pets well and Apply tea tree oil or olive oil to the affected areas to soothe skin damage. and penetration into the follicle to kill the next formation of mites.

Make sure to feed your pets well and apply the oil to the affected areas.Make sure to feed your pets well and apply the oil to the affected areas.

Tracheal sternostomy

Also known as the tracheal mite, it is the least common among canaries. It multiplies in the lungs, where it affects, in addition to the trachea and syrinx. Its life cycle is similar to that of the red tick, that is, fast, about 7 or 9 days. However, It is often confused with other respiratory diseases. for example, mycoplasmosis or chlamydia.

Some of the symptoms that should alert us to the appearance of this parasite are the presence of a dry cough in the bird, sneezing, loss of singing, that is, aphonia or changes in phonation, hoarse singing. They may also make wheezing breathing noises and show signs of itching. although he will not have loss of appetite or poor body condition.

Pay attention to your bird's singing as this is a good sign to spot certain mites.Pay attention to your bird’s singing as this is a good sign to spot certain mites.

If you notice any of these, take him to the vet to have him examined and swab samples taken, as If you don’t act quickly, your canary may die due to airway obstruction. caused by the development of this parasite. Once the diagnosis is made, we will eradicate the mite from the bird using systemic avermectin every 14 days in at least two doses. You can also opt for topical instillation, although the trachea is a difficult area to apply a drop of product to.

Don’t worry about the health of your other birds as this parasite is very difficult to spread. because for the virus to be transmitted there must be direct contact between birds., whether through coughing, sneezing or drinking alcohol. However, always be prepared and never neglect other animals.

General care

  • Good hygiene
  • Stress free atmosphere
  • A large cage so you don’t feel like you’re in captivity
  • A pool so they can swim and prevent these parasites.
  • Cleaning cages and drinkers, as well as all utensils that have come into contact with the bird
  • Good food
  • Clear all rooms of dust, as it is a decisive factor in the appearance of mites.
  • Devote some of your time every day
  • Do not use oral or topical medications without a veterinary prescription.

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